Thursday at 6:45 am, local time, the 117th US Open started with a blue sky for a change. Rickie Fowler leads after the first round. 44 players are under par, a record for a 1st round at any US Open. Read Rickie’s notes along with those of happy contestants or not that happy at all.
Rickie Fowler, 65 (-7)
You don’t get many rounds at the U.S. Open that are stress-free. Just did a good job, knew I needed to drive it well, and from there just able to manage hitting and continuing to swing well and hitting good shots and rolling a couple in. So, simple day when you look back on it, and how we kind of pieced our way around the golf course. Kind of, yeah, a lot easier said than done.
I’ve been swinging well all through the start of the week. It was nice getting off to a quick start, birdieing 11, and kind of getting a bonus on 12 after hitting it in the first cut off the tee.
I feel like a big hole today just kind of with execution and distance control on 4 for me. Hitting 2-iron off the tee. Not necessarily pushing it or challenging the bunkers too much, but stepping up and hitting a cut 5-iron and staying disciplined to the middle of the green and hitting my number. So it was just nice to stick to the game plan and see it get executed the right way. It’s cool, but it’s just the first round. It is always cool to be part of some sort of history in golf. But I’d rather be remembered for something that’s done on Sunday.
I think they did a good job with the set-up. The USGA, Mike Davis, I think they were aware that depending on what the wind is going to do and what the wind could change to certain tee boxes could make them look bad if it was set up improperly. But they did a great job, and I think they’re going to do a good job the rest of the week.
Paul Casey, 66 (-6)
I would have snapped your arm for a 6-under. I watched Rickie this morning. I love watching the golf early mornings on major championships, and this morning was no exception. I’m a Rickie Fowler fan, and the golf he proposed this morning was beautiful.
I was hoping and praying if I could get the same kind of conditions and hoping and praying I would be half as good as Rickie Fowler, so to be right behind him I’m ecstatic. I never started off with an eagle before at a U.S. Open Championship. I really enjoyed it. Great crowds. Love the whole experience.
We’re all interested to see where the pin positions are going to be tomorrow and if there’s a knee jerk reaction. I thought it was spectacular. It’s got a U.S. Open feel to it. The grounds are spectacular. It’s going to be incredibly difficult come the weekend, just because we’ve had the deluge yesterday and the days leading into this. It’s pretty benign and receptive. It’s not going to last. If the sun shines and the wind blows, it’s going to dry out. It will be treacherous.
This was a fun low round. There were errors in there. I don’t boast it as a truly great round of golf, even though it’s really low because I still made errors. And I feel like you look at the leaderboard, there are a lot of guys that had opportunities and made a lot of birdies. It was just a really fun round. You don’t get many — I haven’t played that many — I don’t know that I’ve ever played a U.S. Open where I’ve had that much enjoyment.
Dustin Johnson (title holder), 75 (+3)
I just didn’t putt very well. I missed a lot of really good opportunities. That was the big key for me. If I don’t three-putt, I shoot even. But if I just make one or two of the good looks I have, it’s a couple under. I didn’t hit it great, but I hit it good enough to shoot a good score.
The golf course… You’ve got to hit it in the fairway. I hit enough fairways today to shoot a good score. But I’ve definitely got to roll it better. I’m swinging good, everything feels good, I just need to make more putts here. We’ll have to see if it’s a good U.S. Open setup here for now and in the future . Obviously it would be interesting if it played really firm and fast. Right now it’s really soft. The greens are soft, so you can get to the green with any club. That’s why you’re seeing some big scores, because the greens are so receptive. I think if it got really firm it would definitely play difficult.